We unite with Crimestoppers for Wildlife Crime Awareness Week
Our week of action to raise awareness of poaching, badger baiting, hare coursing and other crimes against wildlife
Although poaching and hare coursing are common problems in many UK counties, and criminals can make as much as £12,000 from the sale of a single carp, many members of the public are not aware of the wildlife crimes happening around them or that they can report it to the authorities
Often thought of as an overseas problem, there are in fact devastating impacts from crimes against domestic UK wildlife including badger baiting, bat persecution, poisoning a bird of prey, poaching fresh water mussels or stealing eggs.
From 18th to 25th October, we are joining forces with Crimestoppers to raise awareness with the public for how they can spot wildlife crime and who to report it to. Twenty police forces from around the country will also be promoting the week within their own constabulary areas, letting residents know what they are doing to crack down on wildlife crime locally.
It is not just the countryside that is affected as wildlife crime is both very much both an urban and rural problem. The organisations involved will be equipping the public with a guide on how to spot crimes that are happening, or may have happened in their area.
Recent successful prosecutions by the Metropolitan Wildlife Crime Unit in recent months have included cases against a jeweller selling tiger claw necklaces, a contractor for destroying the habitat of roosting bats and a man in Croydon for killing a deer in his own home.
We know the public adore the wonderful British species like badgers, bats, hares and birds of prey, but they may not be aware of the devastating crime that affects them. This week will empower people to recognise the signs of certain crimes like badger set disturbance, raptor poisoning, hare coursing, or poaching so they can report it to the police, or Crimestoppers and help protect our beloved wildlife.
Ann Scott, Crimestoppers Campaigns Manager, said: “As an independent charity which takes information from the public on crime anonymously Crimestoppers gives the public a voice. Our wildlife doesn’t have a voice, but through you they can. Crimestoppers never ask for your name, we don’t take any personal details, we can’t trace your calls, we don’t record our calls and those giving information don’t have to go on to give a statement to police or go to court. It is quick, safe and easy. You may think that your information is insignificant, but it could be that last bit of the jigsaw which police need to uncover a serious crime. Help us stop wildlife crime. Help World Animal Protection protect our wildlife.”
If there is a wildlife crime in progress call 999 or for a non-emergency call 101
If you want to give information regarding a crime anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
Details of wildlife crime occurrences in London can be found on the data portal for the Greenspace Information for Greater London, provided by World Animal Protection and the Police.
Image: a poisoned red kite from the National Wildlife Crime Unit.